Prompt follow-up with tradeshow prospects is key to converting leads to clients. A common complaint heard from leadership is “I don’t know what happened to all of those leads.” Mitigate this by developing a system to track leads – ask for business cards from each prospect, and take a moment to record one or two words about them. This simple strategy will allow you to personalize the follow-up, and put you way ahead of the competition.
Prioritize and Allocate Leads: Prioritize cards (hot, warm, cold) on the spot, to optimize responsiveness to prospects with the highest potential. A follow-up email should be sent as soon as possible after meeting a prospect. Create a generic email before the show that can be quickly customized, and respond to all people that evening or the next morning.
Enter the Sales Funnel: Insert all prospects into the sales funnel at the appropriate stage, and begin to treat them as any other lead.
Update the CMS: Look up the lead in the database (Customer Management System or CMS), and update all appropriate information.
Immediate Contact: Contact clients within five days with any information requested. Depending on their interest level, either set up a meeting or inquire about a good time to follow-up.
Wrap Up: A final show wrap-up should be held one to three months post show to determine how the team performed against goals, what worked very well, and what to improve for next time.
Knowing what to do is the simple part of the equation. Getting people to do it is tough.